Chaos at KSAN last night

Did anyone else get caught up in the mess at KSAN on the advanced server last night around 18.00 GMT ? I along with many others were being vectored into runway 27 by the approach controller, then at some point the wind direction changed thereby making 09 the active runway. Approach didn’t realise this but tower did so started authorising departures from 09 right into our path ! Then tower presumably got annoyed and left the game, I continued my approach only for a new tower controller to take over when I was about 3 miles from the airport. Did a quick call inbound to try and remain professional, he/she then told me to contact SoCal approach again ! Having been in the air for 40 mins (and the fact my wife had dinner ready :smile:) I just wanted to land so carried on only to be ghosted just before I touched down !
I’m not smart enough to work out a solution or how this should have been handled but please feel free to put thoughts here. Ahhh my first ghosting, feel strangely rebellious and delinquent this morning…

Wind direction changes can be challenging, but by the description you’re giving it looks like you did nothing wrong except the landing part at the end. You called inbound again just like you did. If you were on final, then it was wrong for that controller to tell you to contact approach again (what would be the point of that). But the controller does not know what’s happening behind your screen. No matter what the excuse you can’t just land without being cleared.

I can’t give my jurisdiction of this though, more details are necessary.

That’s OK, I didn’t lose any sleep over it ! Probably should have gone around but what’s done is done. Was thinking perhaps a solution would be to allow tower and approach to be operated by the same controller (not currently permitted), or maybe to flash up a notification on controller’s screen when active runway switches ?

I like the idea of letting the controller know about wind changes. Maybe whenever the Live weather gets updated. Some advanced server controllers already have the ability to control multiple frequencies at the same time, it’s just that nobody does it because you will almost always be overwhelmed with the traffic. Sometimes you’ll see 3 or 4 controllers controlling different frequencies at the same airport. You really can’t have 1 controller doing everything. Most controllers take 1 or 2 controllable frequencies (tower & ground, approach & departure, etc…). Some frequencies require more focus than others. For example, ground by itself is relatively easy compared to tower, which is probably easier than approach (if there is a lot of traffic).

Wind shifts are always messy, even in real life!

But yeah, we might need some sort of notification that the winds have shifted… I did the same mistake at KSAN last week, I kept vectoring for 27 even though pilots were requesting 09, I thought these guys were wrong, but they were right :smile:

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Although it’s a great idea and adds realism it may be worth just doing away with live weather and assigning “random” weather to each airport changing every few hours. The other issue I’ve seen is when there is little or no wind and all the runways at any given airport show as active green on the map. This also causes chaos when tower and approach are different people and unsure of what the other is doing !

What we have here is a “Failure to Communicate” and a failure to utilized Holding Pattern Arrivals. The balls in the ATC’s court. No matter the server there must be inter communications between nodes working the same airspace and a single primary Freq controlling the action. The long train approach with mixed types is never the best operational procedure at high density Class “B’s”.
Heavy traffic “B’s” hold you, stack you then bring in the lowest in the stack first sequence based on speed/type. Throw in a wind shift, nodes Hold everybody at the holding point, coordinate the rerouteing and restart the flow. Time is money in commercial aviation. Shift change one on one briefs played a factor here, Lesson Learned.

I was controlling at Sydney earlier this morning and the winds shifted, everyone just started going around before I could tell them too, I had some planes that wouldn’t move though, so I let them takeoff before I switched.